MetoMotion is developing a multipurpose robotic system for labor-intensive tasks in greenhouses.
GRoW (Greenhouse RObotic Worker)
MetoMotion is developing a multipurpose robotic system, GRoW, for labor-intensive tasks in greenhouses to reduce the reliance on and high costs of human labor in greenhouse vegetable production. The Company’s first application is greenhouse tomatoes.
MetoMotion’s GRoW components:
The system is designed for easy operation and smooth integration into existing greenhouse practices.
The harvester will significantly reduce the number of workers needed for the vegetable production cycle: one operator per five harvesters. It will minimize fruit damage and increase production efficiency. MetoMotion estimates a 50% reduction in harvest-related labor costs with its system.
The system collects large amounts of data during harvesting; analyzed data gives growers new levels of information for improving production.
MetoMotion’s systems can be easily adapted to additional crops (e.g., cucumbers, peppers) and to perform a range of greenhouse tasks, including harvesting, pruning, monitoring, de-leafing, and pollinating.
Founded: November 2016
Stage: Technology development
Investor: The Trendlines Group
Achievements: Fully-functional alpha version successfully tested in greenhouse
The use of greenhouses to grow vegetables is expanding to meet the increasing demand for quality produce year round. Labor costs in greenhouses comprise 30% to 50% of total greenhouses production costs. With rising labor costs and difficulties in finding and maintaining qualified workers, growers are moving toward technology to reduce costs and improve production efficiency.
The total global greenhouse vegetable production area today is 1.14 million acres. MetoMotion is targeting the high-tech greenhouse sector where automatic systems are used, and there is a strong movement toward robotics. High-tech greenhouses are 10% of the market. The majority are glass and located in northern Europe. Assuming one robot per hectare (2.47 acres), the Company estimates the potential of its first target market to be more than $1 billion, with an ROI of two to three years for the grower.
Future applications and other vegetables (e.g. cucumbers, peppers) offer tremendous additional potential.
Autonomous system for detection and monitoring of crop diseases
Commercial production of materials from microalgae
Accuracy in fruit yield estimation
Bayer Trendlines Ag Innovation Fund
Increased mobility of agrochemical actives in plants
Enhancing fish growth
Delivering protein with edible insects